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Resuscitation. 2003 Aug;58(2):193-201.

Quality of CPR with three different ventilation:compression ratios.

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Norwegian Air Ambulance, N-1441 Drøbak, Norway.


Current adult basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines recommend a 2:15 ventilation:compression ratio, while the optimal ratio is unknown. This study was designed to compare arterial and mixed venous blood gas changes and cerebral circulation and oxygen delivery with ventilation:compression ratios of 2:15, 2:50 and 5:50 in a model of basic CPR. Ventricular fibrillation (VF) was induced in 12 anaesthetised pigs, and satisfactory recordings were obtained from 9 of them. A non-intervention interval of 3 min was followed by CPR with pauses in compressions for ventilation with 17% oxygen and 4% carbon dioxide in a randomised, cross-over design with each method being used for 5 min. Pulmonary gas exchange was clearly superior with a ventilation:compression ratio of 2:15. While the arterial oxygen saturation stayed above 80% throughout CPR for 2:15, it dropped below 40% during part of the ventilation:compression cycle for both the other two ratios. On the other hand, the ratio 2:50 produced 30% more chest compressions per minute than either of the two other methods. This resulted in a mean carotid flow that was significantly higher with the ratio of 2:50 than with 5:50 while 2:15 was not significantly different from either. The mean cerebrocortical microcirculation was approximately 37% of pre-VF levels during compression cycles alone with no significant differences between the methods. The oxygen delivery to the brain was higher for the ratio of 2:15 than for either 5:50 or 2:50. In parallel the central venous oxygenation, which gives some indication of tissue oxygenation, was higher for the ratio of 2:15 than for both 5:50 and 2:50. As the compressions were done with a mechanical device with only 2-3 s pauses per ventilation, the data cannot be extrapolated to laypersons who have great variations in quality of CPR. However, it might seem reasonable to suggest that basic CPR by professionals should continue with ratio of 2:15 at present if it can be shown that similar brief pauses for ventilation can be achieved in clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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